Whew! What a heat wave! Things have been pretty slow moving on the farm this past week because it is just too damn hot to be outside working all day. We feel fortunate to have the size farm that allows us to take breaks when the weather is unbearable. Shouts out to all the farmers who truck along day in and day out produce food for the world - regardless of weather!
August is about sustaining. The organism that is the farm is alive and cranking at full steam - there's not slowing this train down! Our goals this month are to keep up with the weeds and succession planting as we look forward to September when the days will be a little cooler and we start the process of putting the farm to bed. August is not to be looked over, though. It is truly a time to appreciate all that Mother Earth has to offer as the juiciest and most stunning veggies and flowers come to maturity. Tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, dahlias, sunflowers, and celosia are beginning their journey into the CSA shares! Amidst the heat, humidity, and chaos, we are finding time to rejoice and be in wonder of this beautiful bounty!
Week #9 Veggies, Herbs, and Suggestions
Lettuce Mix - a wonderful and hearty mix of many lettuce varieties. This is the perfect base for any salad or taco topping!
Fennel - An intensely aromatic and tasty veggie with a distinct anise-like flavor. Fennel hearts are delicious when roasted (drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and spices, and baked on a pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes), shaved and added to homemade pizza, or finely chopped and added to a salad or slaw. The stems can also be eaten and have a similar consistency to celery. Try adding them to a soup or vinegar-based slaw.
Cucumbers - Suyo Long and General Lee Slicing cukes are the perfect way to cool down in this heat! Add to salads, water, or enjoy on their own!
Summer squash - If you haven't made the chocolate chip zucchini bread mentioned in last week's post - do it now! Alternatively, zucchini is super easy to freeze if you're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of cucurbit in your fridge! Grate the zucchini with a food processor or large grater, strain out as much liquid as possible with a colander, and pack into freezer-safe bags. Frozen zucchini keeps for at least a year and can be used in breads, casseroles, muffins, and a variety of other baked goods.
Kale - This Redbor curly red kale is turning out to be quite the show stopper. It's leaves are so lush and nutritiously dense! Use in a stir-fry, salad (we recommend massaging it first), slaw, or smoothie!
Ailsa Craig Sweet Onion - This onion is great for cooking or chopped raw into any dish! So sweet and delicious!
Mixed Peppers - We've got a mix of hot and sweet peppers! Try them raw (if you dare!) or cooked in any stir-fry or meat/veggie dish! Peppers always add a nice layer of heat, sweet, and something special! Peppers keep well either on the counter or in a bag in the fridge. They dry out very quickly and can become limp.
Cinnamon Basil - This is a great nature-human collaboration: a favorite herb in an exotic flavor! Other than it's intoxicating aroma, this is a wonderful addition to salad dressings, desserts, or beverages!
Edible Flowers - Y'all know what to do!
Dahlias - What a wondrous flower! Dahlias are a mesmerizing geometric phenomenon. Their shape is absolute perfection and they come in so many varieties. They grow from tubers that are buried in the ground in the spring and dug up in the fall to be stored for winter. Tubers multiply over the course of the summer - so the fun never ends! We are growing a few different varieties this year: all purchased from Bumbleroot Organic Farm in Windham, ME. The farmers at Bumbleroot are great friends and excellent vegetable and flower farmers. We are so grateful to have peers in this business who are willing to share knowledge and join in community.